Dec 01, 2023

Ellis County Historical Society awarded Dane G. Hansen grant

Posted Dec 01, 2023 4:26 PM

Ellis County Historical Society

The Ellis County Historical Society announced the near-completion of Phase 2 funding in the Brick-by-Brick capital campaign with the receipt of a grant of $50,000 from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation.

Built in 1926 as a Presbyterian Church, the iconic red brick building on south Main Street in Hays became home to the Ellis County Historical Society in 1971.

A half-century later, desperately-needed capital improvements jeopardized the integrity of the building and led to calls for its demolition.

Responding to a huge outpouring of public support, the society voted to save the brick building and established a major capital improvement campaign titled Brick-by-Brick.

Phase 1, completed in November 2022, included renovation of the basement office space and was fully funded by private donors.

The more ambitious Phase 2 renovations have been the focus of 2023 and address the infrastructure of the building including exterior wall repair and a state-of-the-art HVAC system necessary for the protection of archives and artifacts.

Additional Phase 2 renovations include an ADA entry and parking, ADA bathroom, and renovations to the entryway, break room and curator lab.

Phase 3 — the final phase — will address the main-floor gallery space and second-floor storage. This phase is scheduled to commence in January.

The society is fully committed to completing the Brick-by-Brick campaign, saving the Brick Church, and re-opening its doors to the public.

Our success is fueled by our many committed donors – including the Dane G. Hansen Foundation – who so generously give of their time, their talent and their treasure.

It is the vision and hope of the society that teaching the narrative of our ancestors and earliest pioneers of Ellis County inspires and connects families across generations and builds hope and strength for a better tomorrow.